Centrelink fraudster sent to jail

A BUNDABERG woman is behind bars after being caught defrauding Centrelink for the second time.

Lee-Anne Joy Broome, 43, pleaded guilty in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Wednesday to collecting the single parenting payment, worth $7869, between August 2008 and August 2009 while not declaring her income correctly.

Broome was sentenced to six months' jail and will serve a minimum three months' non-parole period, to be followed by a three-year good behaviour bond.

The defendant was also ordered to pay back the defrauded money.

Centrelink general manager Hank Jongen said the public had a right to be angered by those who defrauded the welfare system.

“This is effectively ripping off the taxpayer and the message from this sentence is clear – if you commit welfare fraud, the system will catch up with you,” Mr Jongen said.

“Australia's about giving people a fair go, and our welfare system gives people who are genuinely in need of a safety net when they can't support themselves.”

To report a suspected fraud, call the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line on 13 15 24, head to www.centrelink.gov.au or visit a local branch.



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